Latest case from the City of London Police;
A man from Liverpool has been jailed after using the identities of people he knew in an attempt to submit over £75,000 worth of bogus travel insurance claims.
Joshua Moorcroft, 27, of Moss Gate Road, Liverpool, made 15 claims with six different insurance companies for missed or cancelled travel. He used various excuses to substantiate his claims, such as injury or disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the targeted insurers, Aviva, suspected that the claims were fraudulent and referred the case to the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) for investigation.
Moorcroft was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday 22 August 2022. He previously pleaded guilty to 15 counts of fraud by false representation at Liverpool Magistrates Court on Monday 25 July 2022.
Moorcroft took out a multi-trip worldwide travel insurance policy, underwritten by Aviva, in October 2019. Nine days after the cover commenced, Moorcroft submitted a claim for a missed flight from Manchester to New York, reporting that his taxi broke down on the way to the airport due to an exploded tyre.
Around two months later, Moorcroft made another claim for a missed flight. He alleged that he did not make his flight from Manchester to Qatar because he had been involved in a road traffic accident on the way to the airport. To substantiate his claim, Moorcroft provided a screenshot of an email which was supposedly from one of the police officers who attended the scene.
Three claims were then submitted in February 2020, relating to missed trips on account of Moorcroft having surgery on a fractured hand. Moorcroft claimed that he had been forced to cancel two upcoming trips to Dubai and Las Vegas, as he was not able to travel until the pins from his surgery had been removed. He provided a number of documents to support this, including documents from the travel company and his local hospital.
Aviva enquired with the travel company about the booking to Dubai. The company confirmed that they had no record of this booking. Moorcroft was challenged by Aviva about this, but could not provide an explanation.
Further checks found that Moorcroft had requested quotes for these holidays in 2018, but did not complete the bookings.
This information prompted the insurer to look into the earlier claims for missed flights. The police force, which had supposedly attended the scene of the accident, confirmed that the email from one of their officers was fake.
With evidence indicating that these claims were fraudulent, Aviva then referred the case to IFED for further investigation.
Moorcroft was arrested by IFED at his partner’s home in October 2020, where officers seized multiple pieces of evidence, including a phone and laptop.
When questioned by officers, Moorcroft admitted full responsibility for the five claims. He was asked if he wished to disclose any further offences, but said that there were no other fraudulent claims.
The unit then examined the seized devices, which uncovered a further ten claims with Aviva and five other insurance companies.
These claims related to multiple trips to Dubai, Barbados, Los Angeles, Rhodes, Tenerife and Turkey, which were cancelled for a number of reasons such as the Covid-19 pandemic, redundancy and injury. Unlike the previous claims which were all in Moorcroft’s name, the fraudster used the names of people he knew to take out policies and submit bogus claims. These included his partner, his partner’s parents and former work colleagues.
One of these claims was made in his partner’s name for a trip to Barbados, which was cancelled due to her supposedly being made redundant. A signed letter was provided by her employer to support the claim, who was subsequently contacted to check the authenticity of the letter. The company director revealed that he had never employed anyone with this name, but that he did know the person as it was the girlfriend of his cousin, Moorcroft.
During a follow-up interview with IFED officers, Moorcroft admitted to the further claims found on his devices.
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